News Miami Bureau Karaoke lovers bringing awareness by singing for Camillus House

Karaoke lovers bringing awareness by singing for Camillus House

Camillus House Young Leaders board member Jesus Riviera performing karaoke at Sweet Caroline Karaoke Bar on Thursday. Photo by Melanie Prieto.

Camillus House Young Leaders group held a kickoff event on Thursday at Sweet Caroline Karaoke Bar in Brickell.

Organizer Jesus Riviera said this event was created to spread awareness about Camillus House – a Miami service center offering care and help for the poor and homeless — and its volunteer opportunities, while having fun.

He chose the venue because he loves karaoke and because, he said, it brings people together.

“Karaoke is good for everyone. Karaoke caters to both Hispanics and Americans,” said Daniella Piñeros, an attendee.

She said the event helped her learn about the organization. Because of it, she wants to help Camillus House.

Ericka Witkowski, a board member of Camillus House Young Leaders, said the group has a passion project for homeless youth. It helps a group of six young people by supporting them during their transition to a new life, she said.

“This event is so special because we are raising money for them. For their bus passes, clothes for job interviews and more,” said Witkowski.

The event was $10 and included a drink.

Sofia Bukele, an attendee, said the event is perfect for young leaders because it is not expensive.

About 50 people attended and a few decided to take the stage.

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen had the crowd head banging and singing along.

Camillus House provides permanent housing, food, mental and physical health care, as well as emergency services, for the homeless. It employs more than 140 staff members, including former homeless people.

Alessandra Laricchia, a Camillus House employee, said the organization is the largest provider of humanitarian service in Miami-Dade County. The nonprofit organization helps more than several thousand homeless men, women and children every year, she said.

“We have one goal in mind,” Laricchia said. “And that is to end chronic homelessness